An industrial maintenance mechanic is a trained professional who works in an industrial setting such as a factory, warehouse, or construction site; he or she is responsible for repairing, maintaining, or rebuilding complex machinery used in various stages of industrial processes. The industrial maintenance mechanic will often undergo training in various topics as they relate to the maintenance and repair of machinery; knowledge of hydraulics is common, as is training in the use of various machines that allow the mechanic to fabricate parts or otherwise alter materials for use within the machines.
The requirements one must meet in order to become an industrial maintenance mechanic can vary, though in general, a high school education is required at the very least. Usually some post-secondary training is required as well, and the industrial maintenance mechanic will usually need to earn a professional certificate in order to work in the field. Once the proper training is complete, the mechanic may spend a significant amount of time as an apprentice, during which time he will work under the guidance and supervision of a more experienced mechanic. This apprenticeship can last anywhere from one to five years, depending on the complexity of the job and the local laws or regulations that apply to the career.
Sometimes the industrial maintenance mechanic will only be responsible for the maintenance and repair of specific machines; in other cases, the mechanic may need to address complex diagnostic and repair issues on a wide variety of machinery. This repair and maintenance process may involve fabricating new parts using machinist tools such as computer numeric control (CNC) lathes and routers. He or she may need to read blueprints or schematics in order to create the parts to the correct tolerances, and then the industrial maintenance mechanic must properly install the new part to ensure the machine works properly with the new fittings.
Diagnostic work is one of the primary functions of the industrial maintenance mechanic, as he or she will be responsible for figuring out why a particular machine is not working properly. This process requires the use of job-specific tools, and the mechanic will need to be trained how to recognize common symptoms of machine breakdown. In an industrial setting, it is exceptionally important to know how to shut down a machine completely for safety during the maintenance process. The job can be dangerous, as moving parts can cause injury or even death to the mechanic.